Yes, Chris Carpenter failed to deliver a quality start in game one of the NLDS. But giving up four runs in five innings is hardly a death blow. Lost in all the Carp chat is the fact that the Cards left 14 men on base in that game.
Yes, Matt Holliday's ninth inning gaffe was costly. But Ryan Franklin had ample opportunity to get out of the jam. He failed to retire Casey Blake, Ronnie Belliard, Russell Martin or Mark Loretta. AND, the Cardinals hitters combined to go 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
The Cardinals are in must-win mode because they haven't scored runs--just five in two games. That is a continuation of what we saw for most of September. The good news is they're back home and facing right handers this weekend(if they get to Sunday's game). For whatever reason, the right handed hitting line up is much better against righties than lefties.
If the Cards do win Game 3, I'd like to see TLR come back with Carpenter on Sunday. I'd bet, even on short rest, he's a better option than either Kyle Lohse or John Smoltz. The guy has Cy Young talent and competitiveness.